14:59

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14:59
Studio album by Sugar Ray
Released January 12, 1999
Recorded 1998
Genre Alternative rock, pop rock
Length 40:30
Label Atlantic
Producer David Kahne, except for "Abracadabra" which was produced by Ralph Sall
Sugar Ray chronology
Floored
(1997)
14:59
(1999)
Sugar Ray
(2001)

14:59 is the third album by the band Sugar Ray, released on January 12, 1999. It entered the top 20 on the Billboard 200, peaking at number 17[1] and certified triple-platinum by the RIAA. The album shows the band moving into a more adult contemporary style, away from their earlier alternative metal sound.

This album followed the success of Sugar Ray's 1997 single "Fly". The album's title was a jab at critics who considered the band a one-hit wonder and were merely enjoying their "fifteen minutes of fame", proving they would release another album and defuse the ticking clock, just in time.

Of particular note are the opening and end tracks, both of which are titled "New Direction". The introductory track can be seen as a self-mocking parody of Sugar Ray's move away from their older, metal-influenced work, but may also be seen as a parody of the death metal genre in general. It features aggressive guitar riffs and drumming with "Cookie Monster" style singing to appear menacing yet upon closer inspection the lyrics are innocuous, giving the listener a "list of things to do to make yourself a better person" such as "be nice to your sister and talk to your grandmother".[2] This genre change was influenced by the massive success of their previous single, "Fly".[3]

The song "Glory" was used in the film American Pie, and featured on the soundtrack album.[4]

Sound[edit]

The album's sound has elements of alternative rock,[5] pop rock[6] and ska.[7] "Aim for Me" is a punk rock track in the vein of Green Day and "Falls Apart" and "Personal Space Invader" take influence from Synchronicity and Men Without Hats,[2] while "Burning Dog" has a skate punk sound similar to The Offspring and "Live & Direct" features vocals from KRS-One.[8] In addition, "Every Morning" (that has been called an acoustic pop number[2]), "Someday" and "Ode to the Lonely Hearted" are reminiscent of previous hit single "Fly".[8] The album also features two comedic songs titled "New Direction", the former being a death metal song and the latter a circus music instrumental.[2]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[2]
Entertainment Weekly C+[8]
Los Angeles Times 3/4 stars[9]
NME 7/10[7]
Robert Christgau (choice cut)[10]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[11]

Paul Pearson of Allmusic stated, "Their third album showed an alarming overhaul in their approach, practically moving Sugar Ray into a new genre. 14:59 steered them from their metal shellac toward a calmer, melodious pastiche of songs. [...] If there's one criticism of 14:59, it's that if you listen hard enough you'll be playing 'sounds like...' for many songs."[2]

David Browne of Entertainment Weekly was less positive and stated: "It's genuinely hard to hate Sugar Ray; [...] Still, listening to '14:59' is a somewhat sad, depressing experience. [...] The album is the sound of a band resigned to the possibility that they may be one-hit wunderkinds and that the 2 million fans who bought their last album may have moved on to Barenaked Ladies."[8]

NME's review was more positive: "Even though you know they'll soon be on TGI Friday curtseying in the direction of the ginger buffoon, on record, Sugar Ray barely put a foot wrong. Not that this is especially inspired stuff, but, if you wanted a soundtrack for the kind of sun-kissed pool-party the sleeve depicts, '14:59' is maybe as good as you could get today."[7]

Robert Christgau picked out the album's song, "Every Morning", as a choice cut.[10]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "New Direction" – 0:47
  2. "Every Morning" – 3:39
  3. "Falls Apart" – 4:15
  4. "Personal Space Invader" – 3:38
  5. "Live & Direct" – 4:34 featuring KRS-One
  6. "Someday" – 4:03
  7. "Aim for Me" – 2:20
  8. "Ode to the Lonely Hearted" – 3:12
  9. "Burning Dog" – 3:01
  10. "Even Though" – 2:35
  11. "Abracadabra" – 3:42 Steve Miller Band cover
  12. "Glory" – 3:26
  13. "New Direction" – 1:17

Sugar Ray sold a different version of the 14:59 album to audiences that attended their live tour. This album included 5 tracks[12] not found on the retail version. These tracks are:

  • The hit "Fly" from their previous Floored album
  • The original demo recording of "Aim for Me"
  • A live acoustic version of "Every Morning"
  • The radio edit of "Falls Apart"
  • "Rivers", a song written in the style of and in tribute to Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo

References[edit]

  1. ^ "14:59 chart performance". Billboard. Archived from the original on June 14, 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-14. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Pearson, Paul. Sugar Ray: 14:59 > Review at AllMusic. Retrieved 2011-06-14.
  3. ^ "Interview with Mark McGrath of Sugar Ray". NY Rock. April 1999. Retrieved 2012-02-08. 
  4. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0163651/soundtrack
  5. ^ Huey, Steve (2002). "Sugar Ray - Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2012-02-25. 
  6. ^ "14:59". NME. 1999-05-15. Retrieved 2011-06-14. 
  7. ^ a b c "14:59". NME. 1999-05-15. Retrieved 2011-06-14. 
  8. ^ a b c d Browne, David (1999-01-25). "14:59 Review". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on June 7, 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-14. 
  9. ^ Nichols, Natalie (1999-01-11). "Time Isn't Quite Up Yet for Sugar Ray in New Album '14:59'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2013-08-14. 
  10. ^ a b Christgau, Robert. "CG: Sugar Ray". RobertChristgau.com. Retrieved 2012-05-05. 
  11. ^ Howling Wolf (1999-01-12). "Sugar Ray: 14:59 : Music Reviews". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 2007-11-16. Retrieved 2012-05-05. 
  12. ^ 14:59 [Tour Edition] at AllMusic. Retrieved 2012-02-08.